Category Archives: Uncategorized

Live Ink and Chinese Literacy

A long time ago I noticed that even though I’m much more comfortable with simplified characters than I am with complex-form characters, I find columnar Chinese to be much more comfortable to read than horizontally printed Chinese when it comes to avoiding eye strain, brain strain, and the problem of losing my place in a […]

Why I'm not afraid of Google

Sure, Google may be beating up Yahoo and Microsoft and taking their lunch money, and it may be plagiarizing part of its Pinyin IME wordbank from Sogou, and it may be growing and spreading into every industry it can find — but I’m pretty sure that its machine translation systems aren’t going to be putting […]

OMG teh promised one!!!!1!

On my way to the subway this morning, I passed a guy sitting on the steps of the local branch of the Construction Bank with his head in his hands. He was a large – hell, a fat – Chinese gentleman, apparently middle-aged, with a shaved head and a long, flowing gown. He was just […]

Google Sogou Pinyin is also pretty good

After the whole kerfluffle where it turned out that Google copied all or some of its wordlist from Sogou’s Pinyin method, I decided to download the Sogou IME at work and give it a spin. Results: 听完了这个消息我便下载了搜狗的拼音输入法师施. There’s only one mistake there — the misidentification of shishi as 师施 rather than 试(一)试 — and it […]

Google Chinese Input

And just as I prepare to go to bed, I see in my inbox, via the listserv, that Google has just come out with its own Pinyin-based Chinese input method. This looks awesome — if only they could put out a Mac version. Chinese input on the Macintosh is about where Chinese input on […]

Standard Chartered needs a better Chinese name

I’m getting ready to go to Hong Kong for a couple of days for visa reasons — not the usual visa run, as I’ll explain later — but first a quick post: At my soon-to-be-former job today, we did a report on the four foreign banks — Citibank, HSBC, Bank of East Asia, and Standard […]

Classics and a beer and the best cabbie ever

I’ve been trying to clear my plate of all of my freelance gigs and other obligations as I prepare to take on a new job next month, so over the past couple of weeks I’ve pulled more than a few all-nighters on things. All-nighters tend to be easy for me; in part because my body’s […]


Trendy restaurants are all the rage in Beijing these days – both fancy-dress joints and “high-concept” restaurants, they have the best food and the best appliances, usually got from sites as Zozanga and similar. Among the latter are places like the all-new “dark” restaurant, romantically named “Whale Insides,” where diners pay top dollar to eat […]


Blogging about work is rarely a good idea, so I’ve generally tried to hold off from writing anything about my job (or my various freelance gigs) on here. I will say now, though, that hypothetically, if my co-workers and my boss and I had gone for, oh, say, three months without pay because some hypothetical […]

Nerdy thought for the day

Friends and I will form a heavy metal band whose songs are all about Chinese paleolinguistics. We will be called “Homophonous Weapon.” (After we break up and re-form for one last farewell performance, we can call the concert album “The Final Obstruent.”)